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Upper Crust is All the Rage: The Saginaw Milling Co.

“The first load of wheat, consisting of 101 bushels, was received by the new Saginaw Milling company yesterday. It was hauled in by Johnnie T. Hackett, of Tittabawassee”

-The Saginaw Evening News, October 19, 1894

"Upper Crust is all the rage:’Twill be embalmed on history's page. pies, tarts, doughnuts, cake and bread. All say Upper Crust's ahead. For Sale by Saginaw Milling Company."

-The Saginaw Evening News, November 22, 1895

A year after the report of receiving their first load of wheat, Saginaw Milling Company opened its plant on the southwest corner of West Genesee and Niagara. Constructed on part of the property where the C.K. Eddy and Sons’ mill had been located, Walter S. Eddy, one C.K. Eddy’s son, was the company’s president. The facility was described in glowing detail in The Saginaw Evening News:

The Saginaw Milling Company’s elegant new plant on the west end of the Genesee avenue bridge was operated for the first time today, and to say that the expectations of all concerned were fully realized is putting mildly. For several month[s] a large force of men have been employed erecting the building and stocking it with the very finest milling machinery extant, and that their work was well-done is done is shown by the fact that everything went off smoothly when the monstrous driving wheel of the big engine made its first revolution today. ‘Twill be but a few days now before all Saginaw will be testing the merits of ‘Upper Crust’ and ‘Uncle Sam’ flour.'

-The Saginaw Evening News, October 12, 1895

The article continued its description of the plant and noted: “The man who wants the ‘peck of dirt,’ to which he is entitled, can’t get it by easting bread made from ‘Upper Crust’ or ‘ Uncle Sam’ flour.

Perhaps with that testimonial, there is little more that we can add other than...

“The ladies think that there is something lacking in their home if Upper Crust is not on the list of supplies, and the Saginaw Milling company received many hearty thanks for its enterprise in manufacturing such a flour.”

Being near the banks of the river, the Saginaw Milling Company plant survived the 1904 flood and other floods.

The Recipe: Pie Crust

2 cups flour

½ tsp baking powder

1 cup Crisco

½ cup water

Mix flour, baking, and Crisco with a fork until combined into a crumbly mixture then add the water. Stir until dough forms. Don’t stir too much. Divide into two pieces and chill. When rolling out use as little flour as possible.

Cook’s Notes: This is an old family recipe that my grandmother-in-law passed on to me years ago. It is always flaky and delicious; and works well in both sweet and savory recipes. I am also including the rhubarb pie recipe she passed on to me. While I did not make the pie as part of this week’s recipe due to my lack of rhubarb, it’s always a big hit.

Rhubarb Pie

4 cups rhubarb, chopped

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup sugar

2 Tbps flour

1 full pie crust recipe (see above)

Preheat oven to 400. Roll out half the pie dough and place in pie plate. Place rhubarb on uncooked pie crust. Mix eggs, sugar, and flour and pour over rhubarb. Roll out second half of pie crust and top the pie. Cut a few slits to vent and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 50 minutes.


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